Heiltsuk First Nation Protocol Agreement
November 25, 2017 - Campbell River, B.C.
Marine Harvest Canada learned via Twitter on November 24 that the Heiltsuk First Nation wish to terminate the party’s stewardship protocol agreement. The agreement regarding Marine Harvest’s salmon hatchery in Ocean Falls was signed in June 2016 after several years of negotiations.
“We were surprised when we saw the announcement on social media, as we hadn’t heard directly from Heiltsuk leadership,” said Vincent Erenst, Marine Harvest’s managing director. “In fact, the most recent own-source revenue provided by Marine Harvest for employment training and community support was cashed by Heiltsuk just two days before the Twitter announcement.”
“We are aware that several First Nations where we operate are in dispute with Canadian governments about rights and title, and this is not something that our company can solve.”
Marine Harvest has operated in British Columbia for over 30 years, with all permits and licenses in place.
“We are disappointed that Heiltsuk leadership didn’t discuss their concerns with us and give us a chance to respond,” Erenst said.
The company notes a dispute resolution clause is included in the protocol agreement, and will request Heiltsuk leadership to enter in the process as outlined and agreed to.